Jobs at risk following formation of new department

01 Oct 2020

Hundreds of jobs may go from the new Government Communication Service.

In a meeting today (1 October) it was revealed that the government is proposing a figure of 30 comms staff per department. Departments are being told that 30 is the base line figure and they will have to justify having more staff.

There are about 4000 comms staff in scope of the Government Communication Service (GCS) project.

In today’s meeting, we continued to argue, as at previous meetings, that staff who were in so-called Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) should not be included, as they were deliberately set up to be an arms-length from the civil service; indeed some of the bodies regulate functions carried out by the government. It would therefore undermine the independence of these bodies if comms staff were to be in the GCS.

In government there are 23 Ministerial departments and 20 non-Ministerial departments. With 30 staff per department that would mean 1,290 staff. Even when GCS staffing functions such as HR, finance etc are included, and excluding staff in any ALBs, it still leaves hundreds of comms staff potentially at risk of redundancy.

PCS will continue to push management for a deal that protects staff, asking for a job guarantee for everyone in scope. We will also continue to argue that an arbitrary figure of 30 staff makes no sense as it will not be sufficient to cover the range of work done in each department.

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